Dez-merizing

STILLWATER – Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter put on a show when Boone Pickens Stadium was supposed to be the crown jewel Saturday night. Bryant and Hunter became the first pair of players in the 107 years that Oklahoma State has been playing football to have more than 200 yards receiving (Bryant) and more than 200 rushing yards in the same game of OSU's 56-37 victory over Houston on Saturday night.

Bryant, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound wide receiver from Lufkin, Texas, was unstoppable in scoring four touchdowns – three of his nine receptions went for TDs and he also capped the Cowboys' scoring with a 71-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.

Hunter, 5-8, 190-pound running back from Tyler, Texas, rushed for a career-best 210 yards and had scoring runs of 58 and 10 yards.

"Dez and Kendall really did a nice job," Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said in the understatement of the year. "Dez has continued to mature. He's playing more plays than he's ever played before, and he's showing most consistency in what he's doing. Obviously, he's got some skills.

"Kendall has been a good runner for us. But I was proud of (Keith) Toston and Beau (Johnson), those guys gave him a break."

Bryant took over the game in the second half of Oklahoma State's season-opening victory over Washington State last week. He was unstoppable again Saturday night with nine catches for 236 yards, including touchdown receptions of 39, 29 and 74 yards. His 236 receiving yards is the second-best single-game total in Cowboy history, behind only Adarius Bowman's 300-yard performance against Kansas in 2006.

Bryant's 74-yard catch and run on a wide receiver screen – in which fellow receiver Damian Davis blocked not one but two Cougar defenders – was the longest catch of his career, and the 16th-longest pass play in Oklahoma State history.

"That was unbelievable, doing the things he was doing," said Cowboy quarterback Zac Robinson, who was 14-of-21 passing for 320 yards with three touchdowns (all to Bryant) and two interceptions. "In the first half we were struggling then he had the big touchdown catch in the corner; that kind of got us going a little bit. Then in the second half he just lit up."

Gundy stresses that the Cowboys must have chuck plays – those of more than 20 yards – in their no-huddle, spread offense, and he got his share Saturday night in front of a Boone Pickens Stadium crowd of 45,001 – the largest OSU home crowd since 48,035 witnessed the Texas game in 2005.

The Cowboys had 12 plays of 20 or more yards, and Bryant and Hunter were involved in nine of those. Bryant had receptions of 41, 39, 29, 74 and 37 yards, and also had the 71-yard punt return. Hunter had runs of 58, 23 and 35 yards as the Cowboy offense rolled up 699 yards of total offense – the second-highest single-game effort in school history (717 vs. Kansas in 1988 when Gundy was OSU's quarterback).

Gundy was pleased that the opening of the west end zone resulted in a lopsided Cowboy victory over a dangerous Houston team.

"What a beautiful stadium," the Cowboy head coach said. "It's really amazing to me to see all that orange in the west end zone. It was loud in there. Makes us proud as a staff and as a team, and especially as a graduate and former player here, to see the difference. There were comments from the Houston coaches who have been here before about how mesmerized they were at the difference.

"I'm really proud with what Oklahoma State has done and what Mr. (Boone) Pickens has started with this stadium. The players felt comfortable, and they really appreciated the orange."

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